If we've worked together, or you've read my book, you're likely familiar with my saying - one more time with feeling! Last week I was reminded again why this phrase is so relevant when aiming to make change in people and organizations.
I was talking to one of my coaching clients and he said, 'They finally get it! I've been telling them (the senior leaders) the same thing for months - perhaps in slightly different ways or formats - but this week it finally clicked.'
People only start paying attention to a change when it's relevant to them. Up until that point, it's just noise. If you're leading the change you likely feel that you have communicated, one more time with feeling, and you think, 'how can anyone not know about this by now or not understand it' or 'I'm so sick of talking about this change'. However, people are busy, and until the change impacts them personally, they may think it doesn't apply to them or they may be aware of the change but don't fully believe it's necessary or will actually happen.
The latter was the situation for my coaching client. The senior leaders were aware of the change that was underway and were bought into the reasons for the change. What was missing for them was the belief - they needed evidence to prove the new system was going to improve their business and that without it, they would put their business at risk.
This example demonstrates the power of the ABC Transition Roadmap™ - the process of building commitment to change. From Awareness to Buy-In to Belief to Capability & Capacity, to Commitment & Continuation. You need to take people through each stage to truly gain the commitment needed to implement change that sticks.
My client found his TSN turning point - for his leaders it was Belief - they are now on board and committed to making the change happen successfully. He is a bit exasperated by the fact that he feels he's been saying the same thing for months, but that is the nature of being a change instigator - someone who is leading the charge, someone who is two steps ahead and completed their own ABC Transition Roadmap™ journey when they undertook to lead the change. Now it's about getting others on board. It's the marathon effect of while you, as the leader, have already run the races, others are still doing up their laces. You need to go back, encourage them, answer questions, and communicate - one more time with feeling - to get everyone across the finish line.
This is where change efforts fail. The change leaders get tired of saying the same thing, then they think the change isn't working. In some cases they ditch the whole project and start over. This is when the receivers of the change think - 'here we go again, a new flavour of the month'. To lead change successfully you need to be persistent and consistent. You need to engage people, one more time with feeling, and get them on board, listen to their questions, provide answers and evidence, find out why they are resisting, and bring them along. You chose this change for a reason, you did all the needed research to come up with the best solution. Be patient. Engage people in conversations. And check in - have you moved them through all the stages of the ABC Transition Roadmap™ - or have you missed a step?
You will be tired of talking about it BUT they will finally get it!
The AIM Change Management Roadmap
I put this Roadmap together for a client recently. They need help to implement a finance transformation in their organization. It outlines how I will help them plan and manage large-scale or everyday change, equip people to embrace change and lead better, and implement change that sticks.
The goal is to not only bring my change management expertise to aid in the success of their transformation, but also to transfer change management skills to their people to build their own change management skill sets for this change and future changes.
Here is a short video explaining the AIM Change Management Roadmap.